Experience in Costa Rica by Nancy
â€œThe whole group of believers was united, heart and soul; no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, as everything they owned was held in commonâ€ (Acts 4.32).
In the light of the words and the experience of Jesusâ€™ life, we can appreciate how important the experience of love was for Father Theodore, and how much he wanted each of his daughters to live the love exemplified in the first Christian Community.
I chose this passage from the Acts of Apostles to begin this reflection on my experience in our Postulant Formation House in Turrialba, Costa Rica, and more specifically, my reflection on the time that LÃºcia, a Postulant from Brazil, spent with us. For me, it was an important experience, knowing that as part of the formation process we will live in the Congregational Novitiate in Jerusalem in 2016.
We are discovering that living together like this is the way to start a new process in our personal lives, and to consolidate our relationships as Postulants of the Congregation. Getting to know each other through sharing and listening to each one, each with her own culture, traditions and personal history, is a way of putting into practice the phrase â€œThe whole group of believers was united, heart and soul.â€ Although, we are all different from each other, we have all followed the same person, Jesus. He and the spirit of the Congregation are the bases for becoming a Sister of Sion, witnessing to Godâ€™s love for the Jewish people and at the same time Godâ€™s love for all the people.
Here, in our Region of Central America, we have experienced deeply the love of the people; for example, when we went with Sister Flor MarÃa to the town of â€œLa Suiza,â€ the people encouraged us, in so many lovely ways, to follow our formation process. For us it was interesting to see their happiness and enthusiasm to learn more about the Bible.
With the teachers of Our Lady of Sion high school in Moravia, we spoke about the arrival of the Sisters of Sion in Costa Rica. That was a very satisfying moment for us because it enabled them to feel more prepared to teach this history to their students.
Another experience was our participation in the â€œNew Religious Generation Congressâ€ to which we went with two girls who are in a vocational discernment process accompanied by Sister Alexandra Vega. We enjoyed the congress which gave us an opportunity to meet new people, and to participate in various activies â€“ dancing, praying, singing, eating â€“ and we had a beautiful night vigil and mass presided by the bishop who relates so well to Religious life in Costa Rica.
For me, each experience was valuable, but the time we spent with LÃºcia was the best because I felt the spirit of the Congregation as we worked together as a community, especially when we did â€œlectio divina.â€ We lived the charism of Sion; and what was most important was that the people could feel our love for the Word of the God, which inspired their own. Besides, LÃºcia shared her skills with us and with the children and teachers of the Our Lady of Sion School in Turrialba, where we worked together on a project called â€œSeed of Sion,â€ which is a creative way to teach the charism and history of the Congregation to the students. For the end of the year, we prepared a festival to commemorate the bicentennial of Father Mary Alphonseâ€™s birth.
In closing, I want to say thanks to God and to the Congregation for this excellent and even exceptional experience, made possible by a decision of the Congregation. I hope that the next Postulants of the Congregation will have similar experiences.
â€žThe whole community witnesses to Godâ€™s love.â€ (Father Theodore Ratisbonne)
Nancy Mena FernÃ¡ndez, NDS Postulant